Attorney Publications

815 Ill. Comp. Stat. 530/5, 530/10, 530/12, 530/15, 530/20, 530/25

H.B. 1633 (signed into law June 16, 2005, Public Act 94-36)

Effective June 27, 2006

H.B. 3025 (signed Aug. 22, 2011, Public Act 97-483)

Effective Jan. 1, 2012

H.B. 1260 (signed into law May 6, 2016)

Effective January 1, 2017

S.B. 1624 (signed into law August 9, 2019)

Effective January 1, 2020


Application. Any data collector, which includes, but is not limited to, government agencies, public and private universities, privately and publicly held corporations, financial institutions, retail operators, and any other entity that, for any purpose, handles, collects, disseminates, or otherwise deals with nonpublic PI (collectively, Entity) that owns or licenses PI concerning an IL resident.

  • The provisions governing maintenance of PI that the Entity does not own appear applicable to any Entity maintaining information on IL residents, whether or not the Entity conducts business in IL.

Security Breach Definition. An unauthorized acquisition of computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of PI maintained by the Entity.

  • Good-faith acquisition of PI by an employee or agent of the Entity for a legitimate purpose of the Entity does not constitute a security breach, provided that the PI is not used for a purpose unrelated to the Entity’s business or subject to further unauthorized disclosure.

Notification Obligation. Any Entity to which the statute applies shall notify the resident at no charge that there has been a breach following discovery or notification of the breach. Note: Illinois may take the position that any unauthorized acquisition or use by a third party triggers the notification obligation, regardless of materiality or ownership of the data.

Attorney General Notification. Any Entity required under this section to disclose a breach of the security system to more than 500 Illinois residents must provide notice to the Attorney General of the breach, including a description of the nature of the breach of security or unauthorized acquisition, the date of the breach, the number of Illinois residents affected by such incident at the time of notification, and any steps the Entity has taken or plans to take relating to the incident.  If the date of the breach is unknown at the time the notice is sent to the Attorney General, the data collector shall send the Attorney General the date of the breach as soon as possible.

Notification Obligation for State Agencies. Any state agency that collects PI and has had a breach of security of the system data or written material shall submit a report within five business days of the discovery or notification of the breach to the General Assembly listing the breaches and outlining any corrective measures that have been taken to prevent future breaches. Any agency that has submitted a report under the statute shall submit an annual report listing all breaches of security and the corrective measures that have been taken to prevent future breaches.

State agencies must report security breaches involving more than 250 Illinois residents to the Attorney General, including the types of personal information compromised. the number of Illinois residents affected. any steps the agency has taken or plans to take to notify consumers. the date and timeframe of the breach, if known. Such notification must be made within 45 days of the agency's discovery of the security breach or when the agency provides notice to consumers, whichever is sooner, unless there is good cause for reasonable delay to determine the scope of the breach and restore the integrity, security, and confidentiality of the data system, or when law enforcement requests in writing to withhold disclosure of some or all of the information required in the notification. If the date or timeframe of the breach is unknown at the time the notice is sent to the Attorney General, the State agency shall send the Attorney General the date or timeframe of the breach as soon as possible.

Third-Party Data Notification. Any Entity that maintains or stores computerized data that includes PI that the Entity does not own or license shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the data immediately following discovery, if the PI was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person. In addition, such Entities shall cooperate with the data owner or licensee in matters relating to the breach, including (1) giving notice of the (approximate) date and nature of the breach and (2) informing the owner or licensee of steps taken or planned relating to the breach.

Timing of Notification. The disclosure notification shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, but in no event later than when the data collector provides notice to consumers pursuant to this Section.

Personal Information Definition. Either of the following:

(1) An individual’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the name or the data elements are not encrypted or redacted or are encrypted or redacted but the keys to unencrypt or unredact or otherwise read the name or data elements have been acquired without authorization through the breach of security:

  • Social Security Number;
  • Driver license number or State identification card number; or
  • Account number or credit card number or debit card number or an account number or credit card number in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual’s financial account.
    • Medical information (any information regarding an individual's medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis by a healthcare professional, including such information provided to a website or mobile application)
    • Health insurance information (health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number, any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify the individual, or any medical information in an individual's health insurance application and claims history, including any appeals records)
    • Unique biometric data generated from measurements or technical analysis of human body characteristics used by the owner or licensee to authenticate an individual, such as a fingerprint, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation or digital representation of biometric data.

(2) user name or email address, in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account, when either the user name or email address or password or security question and answer are not encrypted or redacted or are encrypted or redacted but the keys to unencrypt or unredact or otherwise read the data elements have been obtained through the breach of security.

PI does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government records.

Notice Required. Notice may be provided by one of the following methods:

  • Written notice;
  • Electronic notice, if consistent with the provisions regarding electronic records and signatures set forth in 15 U.S.C. § 7001 (E-SIGN Act).
  • For breaches involving user name/email and password/security questions only, in “electronic or other form.”

Contents of Notice. For breach of personal information other than user name/email and password/security question, the notice shall include:

  • The toll-free numbers and addresses for consumer reporting agencies;
  • The toll-free number, address, and website address for the Federal Trade Commission; and
  • A statement that the individual can obtain information from these sources about fraud alerts and security freezes.

The notice shall not include the number of Illinois residents affected by the breach.

For breach of personal information involving user name/email and password/security questions, notice may be provided in electronic or other form directing the Illinois resident whose personal information has been breached to promptly change his or her user name or password and security question or answer, as applicable, or to take other steps appropriate to protect all online accounts for which the resident uses the same user name or email address and password or security question and answer.

Substitute Notice Available. If the Entity demonstrates that the cost of providing notice would exceed $250,000, or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds 500,000, or the Entity does not have sufficient contact information. Substitute notice shall consist of all of the following:

  • Email notice if the Entity has an email address for subject persons;
  • Conspicuous posting of the notice on the Entity’s Web site if the Entity maintains one; and
  • Notification to major statewide media. or, if the breach impacts residents in one geographic area, to prominent local media in areas where affected individuals are likely to reside if such notice is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to persons whom notice is required.

Exception: Own Notification Policy. An Entity that maintains its own notification procedures as part of an information security policy for the treatment of PI and is otherwise consistent with the timing requirements of the statute, shall be deemed in compliance with the notification requirements of the statute if the Entity notifies subject persons in accordance with its policies in the event of a breach of the security of the system data.

Exception: Compliance with Other Laws. Any Entity that is subject to and in compliance with the privacy and security standards under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) shall be deemed to be in compliance, provided that any Entity required to provide notification of a breach to the Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to HITECH also provides such notification to the Attorney General within 5 business days of notifying the Secretary.

Other Key Provisions:

  • Delay for Law Enforcement. Notice may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that the notice will impede a criminal investigation and provides the Entity with a written request of delay. Notice required by the statute must be made without unreasonable delay and as soon as possible after the law enforcement agency determines that notification will no longer impede the investigation.
  • Waiver Not Permitted.
  • Violation of the statute constitutes an unlawful practice under the IL Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.